MELANIE MINTY: A touch of Irish on team that created ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’

WHITE ROCK — I got mail. I know this is a daily occurrence, but lately I have been having a lot of difficulty with my email account and I think it is going to take an expert (not me) to sort it out. But I am getting mail, sort of. Have you ever noticed whenever there are upgrades for our computers and programs, it gets more complex rather than simpler? But I digress.

I got electronic mail from Ray Fynes of White Rock. Although I didn’t get it when it was sent, due to above difficulties with my system, I did finally receive it, and here it is: "I always enjoy your column" writes Fynes, "and think the Now does a wonderful job getting word out about arts and culture in our community."

Thanks Ray. We all need a little pat on the back occasionally.

Well, that’s the good part.

The other part of the letter pointed out an error I should have caught, but didn’t. So we are all getting an educating lesson this week.

I had quoted director Jacqollyn Keath regarding the upcoming production of H.M.S. Pinafore by the Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and in the quote there was a problem. Seems I indicated Gilbert wrote the music. This is wrong, of course – I know that. It is Sir Arthur Sullivan who wrote the music and Gilbert, the words (yes, I know it’s a libretto). And so Mr. Fynes found the error and passed it on. He has more interesting information as well.

"As one of the organizers of the White Rock Irish Festival – and the Irish Poetry Nights (thanks for getting word out on those)," he wrote. "I am interested in artistic contributions made by the Irish. His name (Sullivan’s) came up on a Google search when I was looking for hymns with an Irish origin. Apart from the G&S melodies that the world can hum or whistle, another melody that most know is ‘Onward Christian Soldier.’ His father was Irish-born, and his mother was Irish-Italian!" So, a touch of the Irish. Well, well. And although Sullivan is probably best known for his series of 14 collaborations with W. S. Gilbert, he also composed 23 operas, 13 major orchestral works, eight choral works and even two ballets. Sullivan died in 1900 at the age of 58, and is regarded as the finest British composer of the 19th century. And now we all know more about one of the men who created H.M.S. Pinafore, coming to White Rock’s Coast Capital Theatre from April 30 to May 10. Call 604 536-7535 for tickets and show details.

Now back to Fynes, whom I mentioned (since he did) that he is one of the organizers of the White Rock Irish Festival. And while he does also say, "Keep up the great work covering and promoting the arts in our community," he also needs some ideas for the 2015 Irish Festival.

"We are trying to get more drama into the 2015 Irish Festival. Lots of great Irish playwrights to consider. Any suggestions?" Well, not me. I just try to get a few words on a page every week – hopefully with the correct information. And I spend way too much time trying to figure out how to correct the spate of digital problems in my immediate universe. But if any of you out there have any suggestions of an Irish nature for Ray, contact him at

Langley Players open its production of Light Sensitive this week. It runs from April 17 to May 17 at Langley Playhouse. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. For reservations call 604-534-7469, email or buy tickets online at http://www.brownpapertickets. com/producer/133005. Visit for more information.

This is Langley Player’s entry for Fraser Valley Zone Theatre BC Festival. "The first time I read this play, I thought it was amazing," said director Angela Bell. "I

laughed through so much of it, and I was genuinely touched as well. Out of the darkness of what brings them together, come three characters who show us there is light at the end of every tunnel."

The cast includes Alaina Holland, Reginald Pillay and David Bodor.

There you go – more things to do and see for the rest of April, rain or shine. Spread the word.

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